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H. (Hafez) Ismaili M'hamdi

Assistant Professor

  • Department
  • Medical Ethics Philosophy and History of Medicine



I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Medical Ethics, Philosophy and History of Medicine at Erasmus MC. I have a
background in philosophy and in music.

I completed my PhD thesis in 2018 on the distribution of responsibilities for the health and wellbeing of children-to-be.

Since then, I have performed and led research projects that focus on ethics issues regarding health justice, ethical issues
pertaining to pregnancy and reproduction and issues pertaining to the intersection of both subject matters. Currently I am also
working on the justification of health-related policy and on the ethics of embryo (model) research).

I am a member of the of the council group on reproductive medicine and a member of the steering committee on diversity and
inclusivity of the Erasmus MC

I am the coordinator of the medical ethics education for the bachelor curriculum of the Erasmus MC. I teach medical ethics at an
undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate level at the Erasmus MC and elsewhere.

Field(s) of expertise

  •  Health justice and social justice
  •  Justification of health policy 
  •  Ethical issues surrounding pregnancy 
  •  Ethics of reproduction and the moral status of the embryo

Education and career

  • Ph.D. & D.MSc. (doctor of medical science) Before you were born: a moral exploration of parental and societal responsibilities
    for the health of children-to-be. Erasmus MC & Hasselt University (2018) 
  • M.A. Philosophy/ Applied Ethics (2013) Utrecht University 
  • M.A. Jazz guitar (2007) the Hague Royal Conservatory


  • M’hamdi, H.I. (2021) Neutrality and perfectionism in public health. American Journal of Bioethics, in press.
  • M’hamdi, H.I., de Beaufort I. (2021) Health agency and perfectionism: the case of perinatal health inequalities. Public Health
    Ethics, in press.
  • M’hamdi, H. I., van Voorst, S. F., Pinxten, W., Hilhorst, M. T., & Steegers, E. A. (2017). Barriers in the uptake and delivery of
    preconception care: exploring the views of care providers. Maternal and child health journal, 21(1), 21-28.
  • M’hamdi, H. I., de Beaufort, I., Jack, B., & Steegers, E. A. P. (2018). Responsibility in the age of Developmental Origins of Health
    and Disease (DOHaD) and epigenetics. Journal of developmental origins of health and disease, 9(1), 58-62
  • M'hamdi, H. I., Hilhorst, M., Steegers, E. A., & de Beaufort, I. (2017). Nudge me, help my baby: on other-regarding nudges.
    Journal of Medical Ethics, 43(10), 702-706.
    M’hamdi, H. I., Sijpkens, M. K., de Beaufort, I., Rosman, A. N., & Steegers, E. A. (2018). Perceptions of pregnancy preparation in
    women with a low to intermediate educational attainment: a qualitative study. Midwifery, 59, 62-67.
  • M’hamdi, H. I., & de Beaufort, I. (2018). Forced caesareans: applying ordinary standards to an extraordinary case. Journal of
    Medical Ethics, medethics-2018.
  • De Proost, L., Verweij, E. J. T., Ismaili M'hamdi, H., Reiss, I., Steegers, E. A. P., Geurtzen, R., & Verhagen, E. A. A. (2021). The
    edge of perinatal viability: understanding the Dutch position. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 9, 20.
  • Lien De Proost, Hafez Ismaili M’hamdi, Eduard A.A. Verhagen, Irwin Reiss, Rosa Geurtzen, Joanne E.J. Verweij (2020) On the
    limits of viability: towards an individualized prognosis-based approach" the Journal of Perinatology, 40(12), 1736-1738.
  • Joanne Verweij, H Ismaili M’hamdi, E A P Steegers, I K M Reiss, S Schoenmakers (2020) Collateral damage of the covid-19
    pandemic: a Dutch perinatal perspective BMJ, 369.
  • Breunis, L. J., Been, J. V., de Jong-Potjer, L., Steegers, E. A., de Beaufort, I. D., de Kroon, M. L., & Ismaili M’hamdi, H. (2019).
    Incentives for smoking cessation during pregnancy: an ethical framework. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 22(9), 1553-1559.

Teaching activities

  • Coordinator of the medical ethics education for the bachelor curriculum of the Erasmus MC 
  • Lectures and working group sessions for medical students 
  • Supervision of PhD-students, master students, minor students 
  • Guest lectures, panel discussions, teaching activities for professionals or general publics at Erasmus MC and elsewhere 
  • Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs (BKO) [University Teaching Qualification] (2016)

Other positions

  • Member of the council group on reproductive medicine of the Erasmus MC
  • Member of the steering committee on diversity and inclusivity of the Erasmus MC

Scholarships, grants, and awards

  • A loyalty program to motivate vulnerable women to engage in preconception care, ZonMw (2018 – 2021) 
  • Improving the health agency of vulnerable mothers-to-be: taking empowerment seriously, ZonMw (2019- 2022) 
  • Ethics of changing to an individualized prognosis-based guideline on the limits of neonatal viability, EMC-Grant (2019- 2023)